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The Art of Translation

ENGL 111.401
instructor(s):
R 2-5

All the critical issues from literary theory to the practical problems of reading and writing will come to bear here, as we discuss the nature of poetry and consider what the act of translation may imply about a system of norms that is beyond the verbal tissue of a text. There will be some workshop exercises in translation, mostly in classical and medieval Latin. But we may also look at some works in Greek, French, Spanish, Italian, and German. We will read and discuss passages from some of the great translations, comparing the range of approaches of writers as different as, say, Ezra Pound and Vladimir Nabokov. No great skill in foreign languages is required, inasmuch we shall do most of our work from trots, but a casual exposure to some language other than English at least at the introductory level would be helpful.